How to Properly Cook Chicken

Cooking chicken is essential for food safety, not because of the potential for salmonella and other foodborne illnesses. There are few foods as versatile and simple to prepare as chicken. From golden fried chicken to succulent slow-cooked chicken recipes, there are a few dishes one cannot imagine needing but cannot enjoy with chicken!

But while chicken seems so easy on the surface, there are a few tricks to cooking a cooked, juicy, tender, and flavorful chicken that deliver it straight to deliciousness!

Below you can find our simple guide to knowing exactly how to cook chicken.

how to cook chicken

Preparing the Chicken

It’s important to wash the chicken before marinating. Be sure to rinse the chicken under cold running water, paying extra attention to the areas where the organs attach. Next, pat the chicken dry with paper towels or a clean cloth.

Once the chicken is clean, it’s time to marinate it. Depending on the recipe, marinades generally include a combination of spices, herbs, oil, acid, and seasonings. Let chicken marinate in the refrigerator for at least 2-4 hours, flipping it for even marinating.

Selecting the Best Cooking Method

The most important factor to consider is the size of the chicken, as the cooking time will vary from one to the other. For larger pieces such as a whole chicken or bone-in breasts, oven roasting, grilling or frying are the best options. For smaller pieces, consider poaching or boiling, as these methods allow the chicken to cook more, absorbing moisture as it cooks.

Whatever cooking method’s chosen, always remember to preheat the oven or pan, as this ensures even cooking throughout the entire piece of chicken. If grilling, always make sure the grill is hot and place the chicken far enough away from the flame to avoid burning.

Monitoring the Chicken’s Internal Temperature

The internal temperature should reach 165 degrees Fahrenheit before it’s considered cooked. The best way to check the temperature is to use a meat thermometer and place it into the thickest part of the top of the chicken breast.

When the reading is consistent and reaches 165 degrees, the chicken’s done cooking. Additionally, make sure the juices released from the chicken when pierced with a fork are clear. If there is any pink coloring in the chicken juices, the chicken is not yet cooked.

Finishing and Serving the Chicken

When you have finished cooking your chicken, let it sit for 5-10 minutes before serving. This will help the chicken cook and will also make it easier to slice. Toward the end of the resting period, preheat your oven or broiler, as some chicken dishes may need a few minutes in the oven or broiler for a great finish.

After it’s done resting, serve a piece of your beautiful work, garnish with a sprinkle of herbs, and finish with a light lemon or lime squeeze if desired. Enjoy all the hard work you put into developing great flavor and the perfect texture for this scrumptious dish. Finally, try out some of the tasty recipes provided at to get started on becoming an expert chicken chef!

Knowing the Best Way to Cook Chicken

Having proper knowledge of how to cook chicken can make the process easier and more delicious. Always remember to use a food thermometer to make sure it is proper and safe.

For a yummy and easy chicken dish, follow these steps to achieve the perfect taste! Try it today and see the difference!

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